I’d pit just about any of my friends against a New York City Taxi Driver any day of the week. Tax drivers pick up customers by happenstance, on a street corner somewhere. Moms have to pick kids up on a schedule while negotiating afternoon traffic of all types – the unpredictable types of traffic. Moms have detailed route guides – with the most important question on their mind – what order do I pick the kids up in that will minimize the time wasted in the car. No “taking the long way” for us to “run the meter up.”
A lot of my friends are moms (or dads) of competitive swimmers who have incredibly rigorous schedules. My oldest swims 9 times a week for two different teams, middle child swims 6 times a week and plays volleyball on a team, and my youngest swims up to 3 days a week and plays football 4 times a week. That’s just my family……trying to coordinate a carpool schedule with 4-5 other families, all with multiple children in the same age ranges as mine. It really takes a “domestic engineer” to figure it all out.
These moms come from all walks of life. There’s the retired accountant mom (2 kids), the custom dvd authoring and editing mom (3 kids), the pharmacist mom(3 kids), the seventh grade teacher mom (2 kids), the software designer dad (5 kids), and me…the website design and seo mom (3 kids). Can you only imagine the planning, scheduling, committing, and trust that goes into our swimming lives? Ha! It’s totally wild.
All of our kids get out at different hours in the afternoon, all convening on the pool within 45 minutes of each other….20-25 minutes away from our neighborhood in Houston traffic. And very proudly, we are very rarely ever late. WAY TO GO GALS! (and our token dad who does a MARVELOUS job of hanging in there!)
Back to the contest between the carpool moms and the NY taxi driver. Here’s the test:
- Pick up 5 hungry swimmers (think Michael Phelps – and these kids are younger) immediately upon school dismissal – and they are cranky
- Deliver them at the pool by the scheduled practice time for drylands
- Negotiate the roads so that the organic chocolate milk in a box with folding straw does not spill in new car (good pre-practice protein & carb intake)
- Remind each swimmer upon pick up – do you have your wet bag & dry bag and appropriate forms for the fundraiser? Deal with it when they don’t.
- Handle the personality differences that could arise at any time because someone got kicked YESTERDAY at practice.
- Handle the business call for dvd editing and duplicating from the local football team or the seo keyword request from the office while not obviously sssshhh-ing the tweens and teens car-riders.
- NOT have an accident
- Prep the car for the pickup (picking up the milk boxes, ziploc bags of half-eaten cheesy pretzels)
- Pick up after practice at scheduled time, while remembering that they don’t get OUT of the pool on time
- Drop 1-2 at church or the school for study groups
- Deliver sleepy, hungry tween/teens home – before 8:00pm
- Prep car for the 5:00am practice in the morning & carpool tomorrow, bring in the trash can, and feed the dog, clean the kitchen (oh – did I mention serve dinner?)
All without the aid of ANYONE else – did I mention – AND NOT GET PAID? WHO do you think would win?